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Specific heat and $μ$SR study on the noncentrosymmetric superconductor LaRhSi3

Anand, VK; Hilier, AD; adroja, DT; Strydom, A; Michor, H; McEwen, KA; Rainford, BD; (2011) Specific heat and $μ$SR study on the noncentrosymmetric superconductor LaRhSi3. Physical Review B , 83 , Article 064522. 10.1103/PhysRevB.83.064522. Green open access


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We have investigated the superconducting properties of the noncentrosymmetric superconductor LaRhSi$_{3}$ by performing magnetization, specific heat, electrical resistivity and muon spin relaxation ($\mu$SR) measurements. LaRhSi$_{3}$ crystallizes with the BaNiSn$_{3}$-type tetragonal structure (space group \textit{I4 mm}) as confirmed through our neutron diffraction study. Magnetic susceptibility, electrical resistivity and specific heat data reveal a sharp and well defined superconducting transition at $T_{c}$ = 2.16 $\pm$ 0.08 K. The low temperature specific heat data reveal that LaRhSi$_{3}$ is a weakly coupled bulk BCS superconductor and has an s-wave singlet ground state with an isotropic energy gap of $\sim$ 0.3 meV, $2 \Delta_{0} /k_{B}T_{c}$ = 3.24. The specific heat data measured in applied magnetic field strongly indicate a type-I behaviour. Type-I superconductivity in this compound is also inferred from the Ginzburg-Landau parameter, $\kappa$ = 0.25. Various superconducting parameters, including the electron-phonon coupling strength, penetration depth and coherence length, characterize LaRhSi$_{3}$ as a moderate dirty-limit superconductor. A detailed study of the magnetic field-temperature ($H-T$) phase diagram is presented and from a consideration of the free energy, the thermodynamic critical field, $H_{c0}$ is estimated to be 17.1 $\pm$ 0.1 mT, which is in very good agreement with that estimated from the transverse field $\mu$SR measurement that gives $H_{c0}$ = 17.2 $\pm$ 0.1 mT. The transverse field $\mu$SR results are consistent with conventional type-I superconductivity in this compound. Further, the zero-field $\mu$SR results indicate that time reversal symmetry is preserved when entering the superconducting state, also supporting a singlet pairing superconducting ground state in LaRhSi$_{3}$.

Type: Article
Title: Specific heat and $μ$SR study on the noncentrosymmetric superconductor LaRhSi3
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.83.064522
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.83.064522
Language: English
Additional information: ©2011 American Physical Society 24 pages, 10 figures
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1370263
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